Thursday, 19 June 2014

Waterfowls of Hebbal Lake.

Bengaluru was once called as"City of Lakes". Fresh water lakes dominated on all parts of the city. However, due to growing civilization many well known lakes are converted into apartments and layouts. This has led to ecological problems across the city. 
One such old, historic and large wetland is Hebbal Lake which is located in the north of Bengaluru. Due to extensive residential habitats the lake suffered massive sewage intake, as a result aquatic life faced a challenging situation. But this problem was taken care by public works department and also forest department. Now the lake has stipulated timings for visitors, also the sewage flow into the lake is stopped. 
The habitat is favored by many species of aquatic birds like herons, storks, common coots, jacanas, moorhens, spot billed ducks, spoonbills.

Purple Moorhen.
Purple Moorhen
Spot Billed Duck.
Duck Scape.
The freshwater lake attracts various species of fishes which in turn brings cormorants, lapwings, kingfishers and raptors. 

Greater Cormorant.
Pond Heron.
Red Wattled Lapwings.
Although major part of the lake is conserved by the forest department, other part of the lake is left free. People mostly utilize this portion for fishing. Lack of infrastructure and maintenance has led this part of the lake rot. One can easily make out that the govt people has not initiated any sort of cleaning tasks in order to preserve the lake.

Bronze winged Jacana..
Little Cormorant and a Darter (Snake Bird).
I witnessed a chaos situation between Darter bird and little cormorants. I suppose the cormorants did not like snake bird's company. They were poking the snake bird repeatedly while the opponent tried to shoo them away using its long neck.

Little Egret.
Purple Heron.
Main attraction during this trail was a purple heron. Their habitats are mainly marshy wetlands and feeds on fishes. With its long slender neck the bird looks attractive.

Rose Ringed Parakeet.
There is a park at the entrance of the lake maintained by PWD. It looks neat with beautiful flowering plants. A perfect place for nearby morning walkers. The garden mainly has shrubs and hosts small birds like prinias, barbets, sunbirds, flycatchers, flowerpeckers, bulbuls. A big palash tree hosted many rose ringed parakeets.

White Cheeked Barbet.
Brahminy Kite--Common raptor.
Ashy Prinia.
After spending sometime with the wetland birds, I met fellow birders from different parts of the city. Most of them were conservationists too. Although the sign boards inside the park indicates that food item are not allowed, I observed few groups having breakfast and littering the whole place. Guards were informed about this, I was glad that they took necessary actions against the group.

Hebbal Lake on maps:
https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Hebbal+Lake/